Reserve Sergeant James Milton Johnson

Reserve Sergeant James Milton Johnson

Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, November 11, 2004

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James Milton Johnson

Reserve Sergeant James Johnson was shot and killed after being confronted by an armed suspect in front of his home on Vance Road at 6:30 pm.

The suspect had a long-standing disagreement with his neighbors over property boundaries. The man had moved from the property earlier in the month but returned with a rifle and murdered the couple he was in a dispute with.

The killer then confronted Reserve Sergeant Johnson and his 10-year-old grandson. Reserve Sergeant Johnson was able to distract the killer, which allowed his grandson to escape into the house and notify his grandmother, who called the police. When deputies were dispatched to the scene, Reserve Sergeant Johnson's son-in-law, who was a full-time deputy and off-duty, learned of the call and immediately responded to the scene.

In the meantime, Reserve Sergeant Johnson attempted to diffuse the situation but, at some point, was shot. When his son-in-law arrived at the scene, he encountered the assailant and became engaged in a shootout, and was wounded.

The 59-year-old killer was also shot and wounded by return fire. He was taken into custody and charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted capital murder. The action of the two deputies were credited with preventing the killer from murdering the couple's 5-year-old son, who was in the home at the time of the shooting.

The suspect was convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison on September 8th, 2018.

Reserve Sergeant Johnson had served with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department for 7 years and had previously served with the Kernersville Police Department in both full-time and part-time capacities for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, two brothers, two sisters, and five grandchildren.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 35 years
  • Badge 273

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Died in prison

disturbance, murder suspect, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

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Brother James,

I’m thankful for the holes God put in the floor of Heaven. I’m thankful for our Savior who walks and talks with us daily, showering down immeasurable love, grace, and mercy upon us all.

I’m thankful for every second of every shift you took to watch over me as a rookie Deputy in Forsyth County. Those are times I will always cherish and never forget.

Please tell the boys we said hello and we love them. Please tell Kevin Conner I love him and yes, all of his stories are true.

You all are greatly missed and we long to be reunited with you when it’s time. It must be nice to be that close to the Father everyday, where the streets have no name.

We will remain vigilant and strong in the Lord down here as we run our race and fight the good fight.

Psalm 91:1-2

Master Trooper B.P. Daniels
NC State Highway Patrol

November 10, 2022

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